Sorry to everyone who was hoping Negan was going to meet his grim end this season, but if the show stays in line with the comic book story, it’s not happening any time soon. As far as issue #158 is concerned, Negan is still alive, although he’s no longer the primary antagonist. In fact, he spent a long time as Rick’s prisoner, living in a cell in the Hilltop Colony. However, Rick has since let him out and is attempting to rehabilitate Negan by letting him fight alongside the other survivors in a war against the books’ current bad guys, The Whisperers.
Despite his recent lack of fortune, at 58 issues Negan has had the longest run of any Walking Dead villain so far, outlasting the Governor (50 issues) and Shane (8 issues). He has also had the most appearances of any new character we’ve met in the third compendium.
12. NEGAN WAS A RELATIVELY NORMAL GUY BEFORE THE ZOMBIE OUTBREAK
Due to the popularity of the character, Kirkman has created a prequel series called Here’s Negan, about everybody’s favourite bat-wielding maniac before the apocalypse. Six chapters have been released so far, each with four pages, and the completed version out at the end of the year will be 48 pages in total.
Just like Rick, before the zombie outbreak Negan was a decent guy with a regular life. He lived in Virginia, had a steady job and was happily married. He was a used-car salesman, which explains his natural charisma and ability to manipulate people, as well as a high school basketball coach and a fan of ping-pong. He was popular with his students, and even invited them to play against him in his home garage, where he often received complaints from their parents for his aggressive language and punitive attitude.
11. LUCILLE IS NAMED AFTER NEGAN’S DEAD WIFE
In Here’s Negan, we also discovered that Negan had a wife called Lucille, who his beloved bat is named after. Negan was devoted to her, despite the fact he had an affair. Sadly, Lucille was diagnosed with cancer before the apocalypse, and Negan stayed with her through her treatment. She finally succumbed to her illness and died in hospital, just as the zombie outbreak was starting to get out of hand. She was reanimated, but Negan didn’t have the heart to kill her, instead asking another survivor he had helped out at the hospital to do so.
The death of his wife is part of the reason why Negan is the way he is. Or, as he says in his own words in issue #156: “I lost someone… very close to me. It was right before all this happened. One day they were there… and then it all just fell apart. They died. And it broke me. I don’t feel anymore. I don’t feel sad… I don’t feel scared… I don’t feel happy. I’m just… here. That’s my strength.”